About Today’s Show
We are all courageous if you look closely enough. On today’s episode, we’re talking about Everyday Courage- those small, simple acts of courage that we all experience, yet often overlook.
Some of the questions we’re answering are:
- What does it mean to be courageous?
- What gives us courage? (and takes it away)
- How can you show courage in your everyday life?
- By the end of this episode, you’ll be feeling a little more courageous in your own life to be able to face your fears and take steps towards greater empowerment and self-expression.
– Connect with us –
Hello everyone. And welcome back to another episode of gay men going deeper. This is a podcast series by the gay men’s brotherhood, where we talked about personal development, mental health, and sexuality. Your host today are Matt Calan and me Michael, today, guys, we are talking about courage specifically, though. We want to have a conversation about what we call every day.
Courage. These are the small, simple acts of courage that we often overlook. Yeah, we all somehow managed to do so in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about a few things such as what does courage mean to you? What gives you courage and how can you show courage in your everyday life? So by the end of this episode, the goal here is that everyone listening and watching us is going to feel a little bit more courageous in their day to day life.
So I’m really looking forward to this chat today, guys, okay. For everyone who is watching us or listening to us right now, I want you to know that we want to hear from you too. So next Thursday, we’ll be hosting a zoom hangout. And this is where we let you guys have a chance to share your stories of practicing everyday courage.
So if you’re interested in joining us, make sure you go to the gay men’s brotherhood, Facebook group. It is free. And then please check out the events tab where you can RSVP to one of the events. Keep in mind. There are two times zones solely for not in north America. That’s okay. We got you covered. Just come to the earlier one.
That’s at 1:00 PM Eastern. Okay guys. So actually, before we jump in, I also wanted to take a moment to read a review from one of our listeners. And this one is quite fitting for today’s episode. So this review comes from AB fisherman and he says, it takes a lot of courage to speak about our personal experiences as gay men. Thank you so much for being so authentic and all four of you are a beacon.
Keep shining, looking forward to more content from you. So I want to thank you for that acknowledgement and yes, we too look forward to creating more content for you guys. Okay. Let’s jump into today’s topic. So I am excited to talk about everyday courage because this idea of courage tends to bring up a lot of images of big dramatic acts of courage and bravery that we see in movies and TV.
And we read about it in history books and sure. Yes, there is a lot to be said for those. And it does take a lot of courage to do those things, but it’s not all about those monumental acts of courage at that level. So today I really want to spend some time focusing on the little things, the everyday acts of courage that are accessible to people like you and I,
and here’s the thing. So often we do these things and we don’t really give ourselves any credit for them. So you might think, oh, I’m not a courageous person, but in fact, if you really think about it, I’m willing bet that you probably are. So here are some examples that I thought of, you know, coming out to your family and friends or,
or any time you meet somebody new as a queer person, this is something we have to deal with. We did a whole episodes on this. That is a little micro, active courage. Each time you have to come out to somebody in you for myself. And I know a lot of people leaving a lucrative career and starting a new business venture. It takes a lot of courage.
Not not many people give us many, much credit for that. Ending. A relationship could be a big act of courage, especially if it’s something that’s been longterm or you’ve been very comfortable with another one that we see a lot is even just putting yourself out there and dating people, meeting new people for platonic platonic relationships or otherwise is, is an act of courage.
Every time you put yourself out there online or otherwise it’s courageous. Another one is putting out your creative work out into the public world for consumption and criticism. All of my creators and artists out there know what it’s like to put something out there and just, it does take a lot of courage to put that there, standing up for yourself, creating boundaries.
These are acts of courage, standing up for other people. It’s also an act of courage and very, very simply. But another one that I think I personally have been learning a lot, a lot is telling someone how you feel about them. That can be very challenging and takes a lot of courage to sell somebody. Think about walking up to your crush and telling them or asking them out,
right? That takes a lot of courage. Even as I’m saying it, my heart’s beating really fast. So all of these are tremendous acts of courage and I’m willing to bet each and every one of you out there can relate to at least a few of these. So I, before we jumped into the first question, actually, I want to take a little nod to our last episode.
The three of us did together called normalizing fear. These two episodes that go hand in hand, I think they, there, they should be listened to together because, because if you’re encouraged, go hand in hand, courage cannot exist without fear. And we cannot be courageous if we do not expose ourselves to fear. So one goes right with the other.
And while we often want to be courageous, we tend to not want to feel fear. So that’s why I think it’s important that when you go back, if you haven’t listened to the last episode to go back and listen to normalizing fear, I believe it’s number 49. So the good news is life gives us lots of opportunities to practice courage because life gives us many things to be afraid of.
So the opportunity, the invitation to practice courage is always there. If you think about it, we always have that opportunity on any scale, big scale, and especially that smaller, everyday courage scale that we’re talking about today and welfare tends to in our minds, disempower us and suffocate us. Cause we get kind of stuck in this fear space once we practice courage.
And I’m saying after it’s done, because during does not feel very good, but once we’ve practiced the courage, it tends to feel very empowering and it’s actually quite exhilarating. Okay. So definitely go back and check out that episode if you haven’t listened to it. So I want to start off with defining what it means to have courage. This is a word we all know,
but I think it’s a very vague, even as I was thinking about this, I was like, what exactly is courage? It’s not something that we define very, very easily. So I’m really curious to hear from Matt. And Calan what they have to say about this. I will, I will say a lot of people think it’s synonymous with being brave.
And yeah, I agree with that, but I like to define it as feeling afraid and then choosing to act in the face of that fear. So feeling the fear and doing it anyway. So it’s feeling a fear of feeling actually doesn’t have to be fear. It could be discomfort of any kind and still going through with what you need to do in spite of that.
So here are some examples that I came up with because don’t forget courage can look like a lot of different things, which is why I’m really excited to hear from you guys. And, and in the zoom hangout, we always have a lot of really interesting shares and things that I didn’t even think about. So for someone who’s mourning or grieving, the loss of a loved one,
courage could be simply getting out of bed in the morning and getting on with your day, having breakfast, making coffee, that could be it an act of courage. Sometimes courage is simply challenging your own assumptions and opinions or other people’s assumptions and opinions. If you don’t like to stand up for yourself or even want to do the work within that personal development work is,
is an act of courage. I believe another one for me that has been very hard is having the courage to admit wrongdoing and apologizing, especially to a loved one, making mistakes is something we all do, but how many of us have the courage to admit it and then take ownership of that. And then finally, as coaches, we see this a lot is having the courage to stay the course,
stay the course towards a goal. So all the, all the people out there who’ve ever tried to do a fitness regimen or a diet plan, anything like that, you know that every day you are invited to say, yeah, fuck it. I’m not going to do this. And you know, just say set up, like I should have some chips or whatever,
or not get up early in the morning and go to the gym or whatever your fitness regimen is. So it takes courage every day to have that discipline and do that thing because it is something that you want to do. So these are many different examples of what courage could look like. Ultimately though the way I define it is having discomfort of any kind and then feeling that like letting yourself feel the discomfort and then taking action.
Anyway, it’s about making decisions for your highest good, even when it’s so much easier not to. So that’s how I would define it. Okay. I’m dying to hear from you guys. So Matt, let’s pass it over to you. What does courage mean to you? Yeah. I love those definitions. I love everything that you said. You,
you took a lot of words out of my mouth already. I think w well, I spoke a about courage in the last episode and I will, I will say again that the mantra of feel the fear and do it anyway is just it really, for me, it is the mantra of courage and it’s moving towards the things that make us uncomfortable. It’s leaving our comfort zone to enter our learning zone and practice zone where we’re,
we’re really just practicing all the things that we’re afraid of. And sometimes we fall miserably on our faces and we get up and we try again. And so there’s this element yes of bravery. I believe the word courage actually comes from the Latin word core, which is like heart and to practice courage means to like to live from the heart or to tell the story of one’s path or one’s life through the heart.
Right. And I think that’s, that’s really what courage means to me the most out of anything. It’s about continuing to live from a place of authenticity and, and showing up in the most real and genuine way that you can. And I think we live in a world that is constantly trying to tell us not to do that, right. It’s about conformity.
It’s about fitting in with the pack. It’s about, you know, being in line, these sorts of things. And, and I think it takes a lot of courage to, to go left when everyone goes, right. I think it takes a lot of courage to be the black sheep and, and be like a trailblazer or a pioneer. And I really think that that’s,
that’s the kind of courage I’m practicing in my life right now is how to just be 100% me be 100% authentic and continue to choose. Yeah. I guess courage over comfort would probably be how I frame it. Yeah. I think I’ll leave it there. That’s that feels good for me for now. What about your self Calan? Oh, wow. There’s a lot here because I think my definition is the same,
you know, feel the fear and kind of do it anyways. But I think my approach and understanding of it has evolved and grown and changed a lot over the past three years, but a lot over this last year. So yeah. So courage for me is, you know, feeling that the butterflies and it doesn’t even need to be fair as like the butterflies,
like you said, maybe you want to tell a crush that you’d like them and like, you know, feeling those butterflies and kind of going through it, the motion anyways. But for me, what that’s doing is if you have a big thing that you want to be courageous about, I am now focused on the little things that will build you up to big thing.
And for me, it’s about the 1% at a time, the one little like micro tear at a time of like tearing the muscle and building it a little bit bigger so that you can get to that bigger thing. And when you get there, it’s not going to be so big. You’re not going to need as much courage to do it. Cause like you’ll have built your way up to it.
So I’ve been practicing it a lot. And just like the everyday little things of like, oh, I, you know, this is a business thing that I need to do. And the fear of, you know, me not being good enough or those kinds of fears come up and then feeling those things and sitting with them and being like, okay,
you know, these are stories I’m telling myself and they may or may not be true. But if I do go through with this and I do, you know, like even when I started my company, like even going online and buying my are getting my business license, it’s like, I think like $60 in Ontario to like register your business, self proprietorship and like get your GST number,
HST number and all that kind of stuff. That’s like scary stuff. If you’ve never, if you don’t have anybody to show you and to do it, but having that courage to be able to go, okay, I might not know exactly what I’m doing, but I know the steps. And so instead of focusing way in the future and like thinking of like these big goals in these big dreams that are scary as shit,
I’ll just focus on this one step and that one step leads to the next step. And so those micro courage moments of like that miniature courage where it’s like, oh, it’s nothing too crazy, but it’s still like a little bit of butterflies there helps build towards those bigger things in life. And I think a lot of the times people think of courage as this big grandiose kind of a thing.
But when we break it down, those big dreams that you have, aren’t so scary when you just focus on your immediate future or your first next logical step is what I always break it down to. So for me, courage has kind of evolved into this thing where it’s just like, it’s more of a practice on a conscious and daily level of understanding that these small things that we are doing are acts of courage and it is moving you towards your goal.
And that feeling, those feelings is going to happen to everybody, but like moving through it and going, okay, I know this feeling now I’ve worked with this feeling. I’m going to push through it so that my circle can expand. My bubble of comfort can expand and that growth can continue. So yeah, feeling the fear doing it anyways, but that’s kind of like where I’m going to leave it for now of like building towards opening yourself up to build to that courage.
Because I think sometimes people think of it as those, you know, the big thing, whereas it’s just like, no, it can be. And quite often is it’s the little things in life. It’s the daily choices you’re making. Like if your roommate does something and you’re like, oh, that pissed me off, but you just staying pissed off.
And you’re not saying anything that small act of courage can just be, you know, with loving compassion. Hey, so I noticed this, I just wanted to talk about it. Or, you know, we made an agreement that dishes weren’t going to be left more than a day. And like, you know, you’ve broken that a couple of times that little tiny act is courage to be able to say that,
but we don’t think about it in that term sometimes. But if you do those little things, they get easier over time to the point where it’s like, oh, that’s not courage anymore. That’s you know, every day. But then it’s like a constantly moving peg because we’re constantly growing. So I think that you constantly need to challenge yourself anyways. That’s my,
my rabbit hole for what courage means to me right now. Calan I like that definition. I might actually borrow that as well, which I think the way that I heard it was expanding your comfort zone. That’s a beautiful way to define courage. It’s just making it a little bit bigger if it’s right now, this, every time you practice courage, whatever,
however, small that may be, it just expands a little bit. I think that’s a much more fun aspect of looking at it. I like that. No, it’s good. That’s what I got from it. Anyway. I like that. Okay, guys, let’s talk about what gives you courage so I can start, this is a really easy one for me.
And it’s kind of a, I feel like it’s a bit of a cop-out, but what gives me courage is fear because they, like I said, they go hand in hand. If I’m not feeling fear, I’m not able to practice courage. So I know that each time I feel afraid again, you know, from our podcast, last time I asked myself what’s going on here.
And then I know that this is an invitation for me to either accept the invitation to practice courage or not. And let me tell you, I don’t always do it sometimes. I’m like, no, I’d rather just stay in that comfort zone. Thank you very much. And I know that life will always give me another invitation, even if I deny this one.
So I would say that. Yeah, because, because courage is feeling fear, you know, the, the technical answer is yes, fear, but here’s what I actually do. So I will remind myself that I’ve done hard things before I might even list them out. I might even say, okay, here’s other times I felt whatever the discomfort is.
And here’s what I did. And here was the outcome of it. That’s another thing is I will look at what is waiting for me on the other side of this terrible discomfort. You know, for me, it’s a heartbeat, fast, shallow breath, like a climbing hands or something like, Hey, once I actually practice the courage, which by the way,
feels terrible. On the other side of it, what is the outcome? Right? Like what what’s, what’s waiting for me there. And I’ll kind of use that as a kind of something to lure me in to the darkness. The not so scary darkness. And I remind myself that it’s normal, right? Who here hasn’t felt fear or hasn’t had to,
hasn’t had to be courageous. We all have to do it. And it’s very normal. And I think that’s gone wrong. My brain likes to tell me like, oh, something’s going wrong. You’re feeling these terrible feelings. You have to be courageous. And Michael, you’re not courageous. You’re, you’re this, you know, you just like to play it safe and all these things,
I’m like, wait a minute. That’s not true. So there’s a lot of self-talk and you guys know that I love my self talk and my inner dialogue is rich and frequent. So what I do is I turn my inner dialogue for me and I, and I remind myself, okay, here’s the times I’ve been courageous before here’s what’s happened. Life has been better on the other side of it or fine at the very minimum.
And I look for that evidence. And I remind myself of that evidence that when I do this, if I do this, if I choose to accept the invitation that there is something beautiful waiting for me, because my automatic thoughts will do the exact opposite. It’ll tell me all of the reasons why I need to step off, off the ledge or off the cliff,
proverbial cliff, not a real one. And sort of go back into the safety of the comfort zone. So what gives me courage is a lot of my own mindset. And you know what I’m going to say, actually, you guys, now that I’m looking at you on screen, you guys give me courage. Other people in general, like, you know,
people can inspire me. Like I will see Matt or Kalin doing something courageous in their own lives, personal or business, or otherwise I’m probably like, look at these guys. Like they are just shining examples of, of, of, of that. And if they can do it so tiny. So yeah, that’s a little bit of, of what gives me courage.
I feel like we’re, we’re, we’re all starting to think so much alike. You’re stealing all my ideas. I was just going to say, that’s hilarious. We got to stop spending so much time together. Okay. So I think I’ll answer the opposite of this question to make my way to answering the question. So what takes away my courage? And I think I’m gonna say my imagination,
because my imagination, when it’s rooted in fear, it always anticipates the future. Right? So it’s like, okay. So if I go up and, and you know, one of my fears is public speaking. So let’s say I get up and I start public speaking and I forget what I’m saying. And I look like a fool in front of everybody.
So I’m already, I’m moving from a, all the way to Z in my mind. So then I’ve already scared myself and I’m already putting myself in a position of being like, I don’t want to do this. Right. Because I’m, it’s it’s fear. So what I’ve learned is the opposite of, of, of future surfing and being too much in my mind is going to be present,
right? Present moment awareness. So for me, what gives me courage is just staying in the moment. So whenever I have to public speak, I will always, you know, do things to keep me grounded in the body, right. Because the body is where I experienced presence. And so I would say presence is number one. For me, that’s what gives me courage because it allows me to stay out of fearful thinking.
Number two for me would probably be what you said, Michael, which would be community or people like the people inspire courage in me. Because I think when you are, when you’re operating within in a community or a tribe or an inner circle, these are your people right. Through your cheerleaders. They, they see where you’ve been and they see where you wanna,
where you wanna be. Right. And I think that when you genuinely have people that care about you and love you, they’re not like secretly hating on you. I think that really inspires courage in us because I think we can feel it, right. We’re all energy. And we can all feel the energy of somebody else rooting us on and, and,
and being like, you know what, you’re going to be up there and you’re gonna be scared, but I’ll be standing right beside you. You know what I mean? Like w and that’s not, for me, it gives me that extra, extra bit of courage, which is very telltale of, you know, what I said last time about this fear of not belonging,
right. That’s where that comes from. I think. So when we have the belonging, the fear dissipates, and we root ourselves into courage. So I just think community is such a beautiful, beautiful way that we can get that injection of, of courage to keep us going. And I think within it, within community, we, we also get like validation,
right? And I think, you know, we often speak about, and we speak about in our, in our course in the, the membership, the healing, your shame course about how external validation is something we need to move away from us as gay men. And I think that’s very true, but I think it’s restoration of balance because if we’re too much motivated by external factors,
it can be unhelpful to our healing process. But I do think there is a time and place for external validation to really allow other people to make us feel good. Right. Because it feels good when other people believe in us and give us compliments and tell us that we’re doing really good. So I just really think that hearing a compliment from somebody can be the difference between taking that leap of faith and being courageous or not.
Right. Because it’s like, wow, somebody else believes in me. Right. That’s really cool. And then it makes me want to really jump in and, and, and, and the be extra courageous, last thing that gives me courage, I would say Results because when I put myself out there and leave my comfort zone and I get a reward,
right. I feel good. Or I, I get that new job or whatever. I don’t know. That makes me feel like, yeah, okay. I want to keep doing this. I want to keep moving towards this trajectory of, of living courageous, because I’m seeing the payback. So yeah. Lots of, lots of juicy things here, for sure.
What about for you Calan have A lot that I mimic from you guys and definitely community, and you guys are a huge part of that, especially for me, because I didn’t have that support system, that belief system, I mean, maybe to a degree, my mom’s always been like, she’s always said like, oh, you can do whatever you want.
But like, in the actual, like actuality of life, it was like the actual support from that system was like minimum. And so I was always constantly like, focused on myself and just like securing myself. And so when other people would come in and they showed faith in me that gave me, like, I was already like practicing courage by myself.
So that addition of like other people or community into my life, like exponentially gives me like, way more energy. Like I can do. I firmly believe I can do anything. I really want to, as long as I have like one or two people securely in my corner being like, yeah, we’re here. Cause they’re like, they almost act as like my anchors,
you know, they anchor me into like the reality and real life. And like, I know that like, I can go a million miles and that they’ll be like, yeah, no, we’re still here. You’re still good. Cause they’ll keep me in check. They’ll keep me on the right path. And so that gives me a lot of like courage to like go further and faster than I ever have by myself,
because I know that if I stumble, if I fall, there’ll be there to like lift me up and go all good. You know, a couple scraped knees life happens. Let’s keep going. But if you’re by yourself, that’s a lot harder to do, which is why community is so important and why it’s been such a big learning lesson for me,
because you know, there, there has been times where I’ve fallen is great. My knees and you guys have been there to pick me up and be like, yep. That is everybody I’ve gone through it. I’ve gone through it. And that realization that it’s also like, oh, I’m not the only one, you know? Cause we internalize a lot of things,
especially, you know, going back to that lone Wolf episode, we internalize a lot of things and we like to pretend we’re the only ones who are going through something, but it demystifies it when somebody else is like, no, you’re not. You know? So that definitely is a huge part for me. And what else gives me courage is I’d like to say like possibility and dreaming,
but I think you said like dreams mat, but it works kind of in like your future tripping way. For me, it, it acts in a different ways. Like I always look at the, what if possibilities? And so even though I acknowledged the like bad things, I’m like, okay, but I’m not going to focus on those. And I try a lot to focus on like,
oh, what if like, what if I did this thing? And they like came back to me and said yes, or what if, you know, like, and this comes into play where it’s just like, oh, you know, maybe I want to go and get interviewed by this podcast host or you know, this, that, and the other,
just, you know, put the business out there, put my name out there, all these good things that I want to do. And then internal saboteur comes out and they’re just like, well, who are you to think this? And that’s when I use that imagination and go, okay, that’s cool. But what if it did go, right?
Like what if it did turn out? What if they did want to interview me? Like, and I play into that game a lot. Cause that definitely is like helped me move through. Cause like all this avatar stuff is like, I’m great at that. I’ve perfected that over years. And now what I’m working on is just like other side of it,
of like what if and the amount of things that I’ve achieved and like connections I’ve made simply by going, well, you know what, why not try? Like, wait, what is it? Wayne Gretzky said, you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t take. And so I take, I’ve taken that quote over like a lot of my life now.
And I’m just like, well, who knows? Like when I got my job working over in the middle east as a flight attendant, I literally did that. Cause a friend’s like, oh, well, you know, you love to travel. Maybe go do this job. And like, I only let myself play in the, well, what if,
because there was 600 people there that day at that interview and they only hire like 1% of people. So I was like, what are the chances that I’m going to be like the 10 or 15 people that get hired? And I ended up being one of 15 people who got hired out of that 600 people, but it was only because I’d let my imagination play in that.
Well, what if, who knows? I’ll never know if I don’t try and whenever I do try something, I always put a hundred percent in that’s. I think my personal trait is I never do a 50 50 where I can like, be like, well, if it doesn’t work out, I’m like, no, I need to go a hundred percent.
Cause then that way, if I do stumble and fall, I know that at least I gave it everything that I could. So kind of playing in the imagination. What if like possibility world really helps me move forward because I’m like, well, I can take the shot and miss, or I can take the shot and get the goal. But if I don’t take the shot,
I’m never going to know. So that really helps me practice courage. But the biggest part of that is having the community and having the people behind me being like, you know, it’s like you were saying that we don’t want to focus on external validation, but a healthy amount of comradery and like enjoyment with other people and celebrating other people’s wins is healthy.
And so it’s like, it’s like, they’re like the people in the stands cheering you on. That’s why we go to our kids’ hockey games and soccer games and our friends, sporting events and dance recitals and all that because it’s like, we’re cheering them on because they’re doing something that they’re enjoying. Right? So that community aspect is a huge part of building that courage and helping you move forward.
And so if, yeah, if you take it back to that lone Wolf, if you’re focused on the lone Wolf or you’re just like, I’m in my zone, I’m doing my thing. You’re missing out on like such an important part of the courage factor. Cause it’s like, yeah, you can do a lot by yourself. And I mean, I have,
but it was so much harder and just took so much more energy and it was so much more rewarding once I started working with other people and like the leaps and bounds that came from that were so exponential that I’m like, oh yeah, no, I’m never going back to doing stuff by myself. But like, you know, the people around you really help build you up,
especially if you surround yourself with really good people. So that’s my, my bits on what gives me courage. You guys share so many amazing stories and tips and you do inspire me and I’m, I’m willing to bet that the listener viewer is also feeling quite inspired. And I want to take a moment to acknowledge whoever’s listening to us now shortly, there is something in your life where perhaps you’re feeling a bit of fear and you could use a little,
little dose of courage, either a microdose or a bigger dose. So guys thinking about that person, let’s, let’s really bring it in to, to their level, the goal for this last question, which is how do you practice courage in your everyday life? I really want to have the person listening to this, come away with a little bit of inspiration from us,
because we just did say community was an important aspect of it. And if the community in this case is the three of us on this podcast right now, then so be it. Yeah. I really want to bring it down to that level and help people realize that a as I said in the beginning, you are more courageous than you give yourself credit for.
And that, that courage comes from a lot of different places as we’ve just gone through. And so I think it helps me, at least when I hear other people being creative, courageous, or when I see them being courageous or when they tell me about something that they they’ve done, you know, a lot of people will tell me, I speak on this podcast.
So how I’m I don’t like really myself on video. I don’t like hearing my voice. I don’t like doing this podcast and be like, what? But you’re so great. And you seem so confident and I’m like, yeah, that’s just an act of courage. That is all that is. And, and that I think inspires people because a lot of the times we’ll see someone and we’ll tell ourselves a story,
oh, they love doing this. They know what they’re doing. They got up there, perfect. You know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I want to kind of dispel some of that. So this last question, how do you practice courage in every, in your everyday life? How are you currently practicing courage in your everyday life?
I can start, I have a couple examples. I’ll give one or two and then I’ll pass it over. But I’ll start with in my relationship, which has sort of been my, my newest, latest, greatest learning curriculum, I would say with that. So with every act of courage, there’s a correlating fear, right? So for me in that,
in this case, it’s a fear of rejection from him, specifically his rejection, his abandonment. So how I practice courage is being honest. And that sounds really easy and passive, but it’s not as easy as possible as, as it seems. You know, I have a commitment with him to be a hundred percent transparent about my needs, my desires,
him as well. And so expressing my true feelings and everything, instead of what I historically have done, which is hide those aspects from my partner as a means of keeping the relationship and therefore avoiding the rejection. So how courage showing up for me in my everyday life is just being honest. And I’ll give an example without giving too too much way, or like I did something wrong.
I made a mistake. I definitely had made a mistake. And I was like, oh fuck, I need to be honest about this mistake I’ve made and tell him and pretty much say, okay, here’s what happened and blah, blah, blah, blah. And I could have easily not done it historically. I probably wouldn’t have, but because of my commitment to,
you know, being authentic with me and ongoing communication, I expressed what I had done. And importantly, I did not defend. I just let him have whatever reaction was going to happen. I was like, okay, Michael, you know, here’s, this is what’s going to happen. Just let him respond the way he, he needs to respond and don’t try to defend.
And it would have been a lot easier to avoid it altogether. So ultimately it should about fine. Again, it was a lot worse in my mind than I thought was gonna happen. And I felt so good after the fact. And in that case, it was like just a little mistake. It wasn’t anything too, too big, but either way for me,
again, going back to that lone Wolf, it’s a lot easier to just keep stuff to myself and not have to not have to come to terms with it, but in a relationship, at least this relationship, one of our joint goals is that sort of transparency and growth. So we know that we’ve kind of, luckily we’ve baked it into our relationship that we are going to fuck up both of us and give each other the grace of space to allow for that.
So again, even, even with all that though, I still had the automatic desire of like yen. No, I’m not. I’m just, I’m just, it’s not that big of a deal. He doesn’t know. And no, I did it anyway. So that’s one, one way. I have a few other examples, but first I want to hear from you guys,
what are some ways for practicing courage in your everyday life? Do you want to go first, Matt? Or do you want me to take it first? It doesn’t matter. I’m good. I can go. So I would say probably like diving inside myself, I would say that’s probably the biggest act of courage that I always show. And I’m continually showing,
like this has just been this life. This is the cards that I was dealt. I have a lot of things that I’ve had to sort through inside myself, a lot of inner conflict. And I continue the pursuit for God. Like maybe like worthiness, rediscovering my worthiness that I somehow along the way of my life, I got off course. Right.
I lost my worthiness and I’ve had to it. And I think that’s been a constant act of courage because I’ve had to do like multiple bouts of shadow work. I’ve had to have multiple horribly unsuccessful relationships. I’ve had trauma about different things in my life that have really, I easily could have stayed the person I was before, which was a drug addict and a sex addict and all these things that I was using to distract myself from having to go inward.
And I would say in the last 10 years, you know, 10 or 15 years, I’ve really like dove deep into myself and got to the bowels of my soul and really figured it out. Okay. Like this is the stuff that I need to really sit with and I need to start to, to show people because all of my, all of my wounding was around shame.
Right. Shame and trauma. And I think my shame told me to not be vulnerable, to hide who I am. And I think I’m constantly having to expose myself. Right. And it’s like layers, it’s constant layers. Like I thought I had worked through so much stuff. And then, you know, you get into another relationship. You’re like,
oh my God, this is back. Like, what the fuck? Why is this going to end? You know? And, and then it’s like, okay, that’s just another there you’ve got to keep going and keep diving in. So I would say my personal development journey is loaded with, with, with acts of courage. I would say I’m really,
really right now in my life learning how to, because I think I’m, I’m developing a sense of self that I’ve never quite developed before. Right. My, my sense of self was quite stunted growing up in, in codependent relationships and getting my sense of self derived from other. And I’m really now like learning what it means to have a sense of self of my own.
And, and I think an act of courage within that is really knowing what I need through self exploration and being able to communicate my needs to others, because that was a big thing that I would hide from, from people because I didn’t want, it’s vulnerable telling people what you need, because they can be like, no, I don’t want to give that to you see ya.
Right. Or they could withhold that need in a malicious way, which I’ve had multiple times in all my relationships with my family and things like that. So there’s yeah, I would say that’s probably the biggest one for me right now is really expressing, expressing myself and the needs that I have in my vulnerabilities and practicing humility around all that sort of stuff.
While at the same time, practicing dignity, like I deserve to have my needs met these sorts of things. So yeah. I think when you show courage in everyday life, Yeah. It feels complete for me. I tell you, Mr. Calan, it’s definitely evolved over the last while I used to, well, I guess my journey, my experience of courage was I used to like travel and go experience the world and do things that people like,
oh, I could never do that. Like, that’s scary to like, leave your home. And like I’ve lived in, you know, so many international cities around the world and I’ve been to so many places and done so many things. And now looking back on it in hindsight, I think it was actually part of my defense mechanism. And it was actually running away disguised as courage because yes,
there was courageous aspects to it. But for me, those were encouraged, like courageous things. Because to me that was exciting and it was fun. There was no part of it that was like scary or challenging. Whereas for me, the scary and challenging stuff comes from developing genuine deep, long relationships because of like my family history, I didn’t have such a great experience.
And so I had built up so many walls that for me, it was like easier to run away than to let somebody get to know me deeper and like, actually get to know me because of the fear of like, oh, once you actually get to know me, you won’t like me or you won’t love me because that’s what happened with my family being me wasn’t enough.
So I’d rather just show you the good bits of me and then go run away. So you can have like these parts. And so that was kind of like the history. And now how I’m practicing courage is that I’m showing up for myself in building those relationships and seeing a lot of fear around allowing people to get to know me on a deeper level,
because like, I can tell it’s deeper too, because I’m already getting a little, like, teary-eyed about it. I’m like, oh, there’s definitely emotional triggers up in here. And actually like doing things for the long run and allowing myself to be okay with that and to sit with that, because that scares the fucking shit out of me, the idea of like having friends for like,
like I have friends, I have best friends, like my, my friend, and I’ve had her for like 15 years now. And, but we’ve, we’ve always lived kind of in different cities and it’s not been like an every day, see you everyday kind of relationship. And now that I based myself in Toronto and I’m happy here and I love it here.
It’s learning that. Okay, well, I’m going to now have to develop those really deep, intuitive relationships. And that scares the bejesus out. But ways that I was practicing courage, like everyday courage was when I moved here, I decided I was like, okay, none of this hiding, none of this, like lone Wolf shit, I’m going to dedicate to building community and building a support system.
Cause I need one and I want one. And so that looked like me joining the dodgeball, the gay dodgeball league in Toronto, which had over like what 400 members like people think, oh, that’s fun. But for me it was like hyperventilating because I, as much as I come across as a very outgoing person and I’m very friendly, that is very much a learned skill.
My default skill is holy shit. Let’s go hide introvert. Like if you talk to my mom as a kid, I was the quietest one. I would watch everybody. And I would talk to nobody. And like, if somebody talked to me, I would run away. So my everyday courage is just going to dodgeball and being like, I don’t know any of these people.
I had one friend in Dodgeville, but he was doing the little league and I was going to be in the normal one. So we weren’t even going to be playing together. So I was like, I literally don’t know anybody. And that fear of like, but I know I need to go through this in order to be able to get to that good side where I do have friends.
Cause I’m not going to make friends unless I do this. So that was a huge act of courage of like, but in every day, courage thing of just signing up and being like, okay, let’s go. And I’ve made some of my best friends in Toronto from that one thing. Another thing was joining the LGBTQ choir here in Toronto. I’m singing out,
there’s multiples, there’s 14 singing out. And because I love music, I love expressing myself. I love being creative. And I was in acquire in Vancouver and that was one of the first introductions I had to help the community and supportive community. And so I was like, okay, I know that if I do that, I can find that again.
Cause I had already had that built in and I did. I found more amazing people in that space. And so that really helped me start those relationships. And now throughout the pandemic, it’s been a little bit difficult because obviously not getting together in person and fostering those relationships has been, it’s been hard because I wanted it. And then the universe is like,
huh? Not, not quite yet. Just kidding. So that’s when, you know, I’ve been focusing on building our community and the GMB and all the things that we’re doing together. And that’s taught me like different aspects of community that are mixed in with business and that it all kind of intermingles, but yeah, opening myself up to allowing myself to fit in and to be a part of the community without needing to be special.
And just like just being one of the group is like terrifying. And so I’m starting to allow myself to do that a lot more and being invited with people and like people who I don’t maybe know so well, but I know I like their vibe. I like their energy and I’m just going to go with it and allow those relationships to grow and develop.
So that’s kinda how I practice the everyday is allowing myself to continue and deepen relationships, even when shit comes up and we’re, I’m met with like difficult conversations or hard bits that I would like drop it and run and be like, okay, sorry. Like, no, I’m not going to let you see my difficult bits. And I don’t want to see yours because that’s too much for me.
And now diving into those and allowing myself to like do that with compassion and recognizing that I have my screwed up parts, just like everybody else has their screwed up parts. And so I need to have compassion for myself and have compassion for this other person because nobody’s perfect. So realizing that it’s like, oh yeah, this person might do something that annoys me.
But overall I like them as a human. Does that mean I don’t want to hang out with them anymore? No. It just means that that’s a human being who is multifaceted. And I have to get over my bullshit of like telling myself the story of like, oh, well they’re not worth my time when it’s really, I’m too afraid to develop that relationship because it could get messy,
but that’s life, it gets messy. So that’s what a lot of my daily practice and courage has been around is letting myself get into those relationships and letting it be messy and just kind of like enjoying that part of the human experience because that’s definitely very new for me. Yeah. Thank you for, thank you for sharing that. Both of you guys.
Wow. Yeah. You, you hit on a lot of what I, what I was going to say in my, in my other points. So I think one, first of all, it resonates a lot with me on many levels. I didn’t think about the, the, the shadow side aspect of, you know, going in and having the courage to actually come face to face with what’s in there that maybe you don’t want to see similar to what we talked about on our self-acceptance episode.
Something I did want to mention like a particular flavor that I think you guys will resonate with as well is for me, the courage to be imperfect butts up or sorta comes with my fear of criticism. And this is a thing that’s fairly common, especially, especially has come up in my coaching and as a, as a entrepreneur, putting out work videos,
podcasts, whatever that is and doing. So in a way that’s like, okay, well this is, this is what I represent. This is who I am. People aren’t going to like it, people are going to criticize it and just doing it anyway has been a big blessing for me. That’s something I still do. Right? Like I’ll, even if I’m doing a video on our,
on our game, it’s brotherhood, Instagram, like a motivational Monday or motivational moment, I would still sometimes like do it like 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times as like yeah. Enough of that shit. Like let’s just have the courage to put out the first, the first, you know, draft, whatever that is. And that takes a lot of courage for me. Cause I have a lot of perfectionist tendencies.
So, you know, that’s another way. And I, I know you guys can relate to that as well. A hundred percent day, like last week’s motivational or I guess like two weeks, it goes now, like it took me, it was supposed to come out Monday. I didn’t even film it until like Thursday. And then I put it out Friday.
Cause I was like, I can’t, I can’t do it. There’s too much pressure. I can’t figure it out. And it was, it was like a, what, like a minute video of being like, Hey guys, like everybody watching just thinks it is what it is. It’s like so much of our own mental stuff goes into it. Yeah.
I got you. You know, it’s funny. Calan is looking at your videos. I would think that you just do them like so easy. Like it’s just like nothing for you. Like you come across so naturally. And that’s the thing I think, I think we all do, but for the person who’s doing it, it can be a very tough task.
Definitely. Okay guys, do we have time for bonus question? Sure. Okay. I’m actually debating between two. Awesome about if you guys can, I’ll let, I’ll let you guys just have a 21. It’s a one. I want to know what courage feels like to you in your body. And then another one, if you want to tell me what’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done,
I could start with, by telling you what courage feels like in my body. It feels terrible. It feels like something has gone terribly wrong in my body. Again, the shortness of breath, the fast heart rate, clammy hands, I’ll this desire to just want to run and hide. That is what courage feels like. So again, we romanticize this notion of courage,
but for me anyway, it feels, it feels like shit and terrible. It only feels good after the fact, once I’ve survived, I’m like, oh cool. Like, look at me. I fucking did it. Yeah. Like way to go, Michael. But in the moment it does not feel that way at all. It feels pretty terrible.
I would say for me, you know, it’s interesting. These last two episodes really have made me feel like I’m actually a very courageous person. I never really realized like how much courage I practiced. And for me, courage feels like excitement in my body. It feels expansive in my heart. Like my heart center, it kind of just opens. And I feel like really grounded.
I I’m, I’m a quite a big risk taker. Like I’m the guy like I will gamble. Like, you know what I mean? Like I’ve always been that way. Being an entrepreneur, you kind of have to be really, but I would say probably one of the greatest acts of courage would probably been moving to Asia. I just literally like decided,
okay, I’m going to move to Asia for a year. And I just like packed all my shit in storage and just left. And my family is all like, where the fuck are you going? If you don’t like the hell. And for me, that was what I needed. Right. I was being called by my soul. My soul was calling over.
Like there was no doubt in my mind that this was going to happen for me. So yeah. Yeah. Nice. That’s a big one for sure. I know. I don’t mind people that would pick up and move Asia. I know that I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t actually done it. Right. Yeah. Those are good. I,
I, for me, I think courage feels like, like the there’s, cause there’s two sides of it kind of there’s like the, as it’s just before it’s happening as it’s happening and then after it’s happened. So it’s kind of like, it feels like I’m on to bomb it and then going into it, it’s just like, oh, okay, well it’s going to be what it’s going to be.
It’s kind of like feeling like you’re going to vomit then this feeling of like nothingness, but not nothingness, just like a void of like acceptance of like, it’s, it’s going to be what it’s going to be and just kind of release, I guess. And then the aftermath of it is just like, holy shit, excited butterflies. Because like I did the thing.
So it was kind of like this, like the spectrum of like, and it could go over, you know, the very short period of time, it can go over like months of time because it’s like the beginning of a project and then the middle of the project. And then like, you know, so you go through those processes, but that’s kind of like the spectrum that I go through for myself.
And then the most courageous thing that I’ve done. I know I’ve done some reading. I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life. Like I’m like mad, like I’m a thrill. Like I wouldn’t say thrill-seeker, I just, I like to experience life and what it has to offer. So it’s like, I’ve gone bungee jumping, I’ve gone skydiving.
I’ve swam with great white sharks and that’s like courageous stuff. But I mean, and I’ve also moved like, you know, to the middle east and just like up and changed my whole life to the other side of the world. And it’s like, cool, I’m going to move there for an indefinite amount of time. It ended up being five years,
but like the contracts could have kept going. I could have stayed if I wanted to. I chose to leave. And then also when I moved to London in the UK, that was supposed to just be backpacking trip that I got a visa like three months before. Cause I applied and I was like, well, like as a moving there, but I’d have to say for me,
the most courageous thing that I ever did was when I came out, probably when I came out to my mom, I think that was the biggest, most courageous moment that I remember feeling like this is life altering, lead different. Like this will change my whole life. This one moment. Cause I, I mean I was out to friends and stuff and you know,
the majority of people listening to this will probably know that feeling. You, you guys know that feeling there’s going to be people listening to this podcast who don’t know that feeling or who are struggling with that right now. But it’s like that once you, once those words leave your mouth, it’s out of your hands, you know? And so it’s like getting to that moment.
And then after that moment, like that, that divides my life into two very distinctly different ways of being. So, yeah, I think coming out to my mom, cause they did that like two or three weeks before I moved to London in the UK. So it was just kinda like can gay came by and I did that on purpose because I wanted to be out to my mom before I left.
I was out to friends and stuff, but I wanted to be out to my mom cause I wanted to have like also that space for her to kind of adjust as I was away, which maybe was selfish for me, even though I knew it was going to be, I was confident it was going to be fine. And then being in the UK gave me that space to then explore myself more and to like settle into myself more.
Whereas if I’d stayed at home, I would have just been kind of felt stuck in who I’m supposed to be. So that kind of allowed the freedom. But yeah, definitely coming out to my mom specifically was probably the biggest act of courage. I think I’ve done personally. Yeah. Those were both really big ones. And I actually forgot about that.
Like coming out, cause for me it was, I was 19, but at the time, but here’s the funny thing. Like I had none of this, all the knowledge we have now, like I had none of that at the age of 19, I just noticed this scariest thing that I was going to do and, and somehow managed to do it.
But I kind of forget, like again, just goes to show you, we have so much more courage than we give ourselves credit for a lot of the time and us poor people were always coming out. We’re we’re always having to kind of navigate that and you know, being authentically you every, every time you kind of choose to be you is an act of,
you know, mini courage or micro courage when you don’t people, please, when you say, actually this is what I want or when you express that desire every little time you do that, it is a small act of courage. And I think, I think they build up over time. It’s it’s compounding, we talk a lot about that on this podcast,
which is a compounding effect of these small steps that we take. Okay. Guys, do you have any final words on practicing everyday? Courage? I’ve said my words. Yeah. Hmm. All right. Cool. Well thank you, Matt. And thank you. Calan for your wisdom as always. Thank you. Listener viewer, wherever you’re watching or listening to us.
Thank you for tuning in today. It is, it is our hope that you do have a little bit more courage. And now then you did at the beginning of this episode. Okay. For those of you who are not in the gay men’s brotherhood, please join us there again. We will be having a GMB zoom hangout Thursday, I guess after this episode is released.
Is that right? Yeah. Okay. And those are free. And again, we’re gonna be talking about your experiences of having courage. So please come, you’ll meet some awesome new peeps. You’ll see us there and we’ll keep the conversation going. So if you’re listening to us on a podcast and you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard today, please go ahead and give us a five star rating and a review.
We will be reading these every episode. So hopefully we’ll read it next time. If you found us on YouTube, go ahead and give us a subscribe and click on the little bell. So you get notified each time we release a new episode and which are weekly by the way, and let us know your thoughts actually on this topic. Let us know your thoughts about practicing everyday courage.
We’ll put it in the comments. We do read them and we even reply. We are actually there reading and replying to your comments. Okay. So that’s all we’ve got for you guys today. Again. Thank you, Matt. Thank you, Carolyn. Oh yeah, yeah. Yeah. Just because I know November is right around the corner. So we do plan to open the doors again for our gay men going deeper coaching membership in November,
we haven’t set a date yet, but if you want to work with us in a group setting and a lot, like, you know, a bunch of other really amazing guys going through the same stuff, working on the same stuff you can sign up. The link is in the show notes to join the wait list for the game and going deeper membership.
So just wanted to Throw that out. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, let that be your small act of courage because I know for a lot of people, even for myself, if I had to join a group or I didn’t know anybody and talk about these things, that would be for me, caused a lot of fear and it would be a beautiful opportunity to practice some courage at the very minimum you can join the wait list.
It’s not scary. I promise. Yeah. Okay guys, thank you so much and see you next time. All right. Byeeeee.